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Authority Site Experiment : Food Niche

What is Authority Site?

The term “Authority Site” emerged in SEO circles in the last year or so, as the type of site to be in fear of, in terms of SEO competition and it appears to be the most desirable type of site to create as a long-term digital asset for your business.

So, what is an “Authority Site” exactly, and what are the reasons for building one or more of these sites? This will not necessarily be about the so-called ‘quality content’, but the emphasis will be on engaging content for a very specific audience.

My definition of an Authority Site (I should mention that not all authority sites necessarily have all of these features) is:

1. Indexed Pages on Google: A site that has a significant number of pages indexed on Google. Nothing like a Spinner mini site with 5 to 10 pages, but dozens, at the very least. Imagine hundreds and thousands of these!

2. High User Return Rate: A site that has a high returning visitor rate

3. Low Bounce Rate: A site that has a low bounce rate (this means that visitors generally view a number of pages per visit not just the page they land on, quickly ‘bounce off’ and leave the site). This example has a high bounce rate because it is a single Sales Page website and visitors do not need to leave the landing page.

4. High Average Time On Site: A site that has a large ‘Average Time On Site’ number (not seconds but minutes spent on a site, an example is the site Analytics, where the average time on site is around 6 minutes, which may sound short but this statistic is actually good in this ADD/ADHD world we live in).

5. It has High Non-SE Traffic: A site that has a huge amount of non-search engine traffic.

6. Unique Market Position: A site that has a unique position or a highly competitive position in the marketplace

7. It is a site that has many citations (mentions without actual links) online.

8. It is a site that has an increasing user base.

9. It is a site with a dynamic participation in Facebook (has many followers and likes)

10. It is a site that gets new indexed pages rapidly.

11. It is a site that is highly-ranked for long tail terms WITHOUT any SEO (e.g. www.problogger.net ranking)

12. An authority site is the one that probably has a high level of the online cross-media activity (e.g. a busy YouTube Channel, ITunes podcast channel, and it also has documents or presentations on the document-sharing sites)

13. It is a site that is clearly more than just a job, it is someone’s mission in life because the content of the site says that its creator gives a damn and is actively involved in the functioning and development of the site (i.e. the owner has not run out of interests, energy, passion and commitment, which happens sometimes).

14. It is a site that has functionality (it is not necessarily attractive-look at Reddit!) and well-organized ways to use the site. For example, gumtree.com is not particularly well designed or attractive, but in many big cities in the world, it is the default go-to site for finding places to live, jobs, cheap stuff and more.

15. Now, the above-mentioned requires:

MASSIVE effort
MASSIVE focus
MASSIVE commitment
MASSIVE perseverance

With that i decided to start my first Authority Site

Authority Site Keyword Research

To conduct the keyword research, I am using the Longtail Pro, Market Samurai and Google Keyword Tool. For the basic keyword research, I use Google Keyword Tool to get the data about Singapore local search volumes. My target niche is going to be the food industry in Singapore. The reason why I have chosen this niche is that Singaporeans love food! There are many bloggers who write about Singaporean food, but their sites are either messy or have too many ads. Therefore, my partner and I decided on this niche; I will be focusing on online marketing and his job will be to provide high quality content. While I was doing keyword research, I was very shocked to discover that, the keyword I chose was highly competitive (!) and it had 1000 local search volume.

Please, see the backlinks chart below

nichesite

Notice that the total number of backlinks for the site is 52k ?!?!?!!?

I am going to build the website in a Silo structure. What is a Silo structure? A silo presents a construct used for keeping things separate or compartmentalized.

The site I am going to create is an Authority Site hence I decided to rank many long tails keywords instead of focusing on one main keyword.

I did the following tasks:

• Registered domain
• Created a map hosting account
• Web development (I purchased a theme and modified it)
• Created Facebook fan page
• Created Google+
• Created Instagram
• Input AdSense ads
• Completed verification through Alexa, Google & Bing webmaster (this is very important before you start any SEO)

Authority Site Experiment Web Development

The website will be powered by WordPress CMS (as usual) and is hosted by E-Alchemists WordPress Hosting (my company upcoming hosting service). I had install the following plugins :-

  • Akismet  (to block spam comment)
  • Author hReview (Add Rich Snippets for reviews and rating to author/editor reviews)
  • Best Adsense (to input adsense ads)
  • Better WP Security (#1 WORDPRESS SECURITY PLUGIN)
  • Google XML sitemaps (create sitemap)
  • Instagram for wordpress (to show instagram photo)
  • WordPress SEO (#1 seo plugins for on page optimization)

The website will be powered by WordPress CMS (as usual) and will be hosted by E-Alchemists WordPress Hosting (the upcoming hosting service of my company). I installed the following plug-ins:

  • Akismet (for blocking spam comments)
  • Author Review (to add Rich Snippets for reviews and rating to author/editor reviews)
  • Best AdSense (to input AdSense ads)
  • Better WP Security (#1 WORDPRESS SECURITY PLUGIN)
  • Google XML sitemaps (for creating sitemaps)
  • Instagram for wordpress (to show instagram photo)
  • WordPress SEO (#1 seo plug-ins for on page optimization)

I am still in the testing phase of the automated wordpress backup process, I am basically trying to do an automatic website backup and upload it to my dropbox. I will be using the best backup script wptwin, and an external backup script for upload. It still does not work and I am trying to fix the issue. The first thing you have to do is to backup your site regularly in case of hacking and other issues.

My partner will help me in posting the content and we included my buddy who is willing to help us out. Our target is to have 100 high quality posts by August.

From my previous niche experiment, I concluded that using only one method of traffic generation such as SEO is very risky. The reason is that, every time there is a Google update, it takes time for the ranking to be recalculated or Google will penalize you. Therefore, I decided to include Social Media marketing to test the conversation. BTW, I joined the Singapore SPI mastermind group and it is great to exchange experiences but also help each other! if you are interested to join let me know. I will soon post the update of the current site progress and this experiment will also be used as an example of whether we can get online passive income from the Internet. I am excited and eager to find out!